To become a good leader, you need to develop rapport with your team of employees and the clients and customers of their business. Rapport builds the foundation for trust to develop, and trust is the foundation of all great leadership.
Rapport starts with understanding others. It helps to ask questions, have a positive, open attitude, encourage an open exchange of communications (both verbal and unspoken), listen to verbal and unspoken communications and share positive feedback.
Here are important details on each step:
1. Ask Questions
Building report is similar to interviewing someone for a job opening or it can be like a reporter seeking information for an article. Relax and get to know the other person with a goal of finding common ground or things of interest. Have a genuine curiosity in learning about the other person. When we seek to understand, we tend to ask questions that support us in building rapport with others.
A genuine interest in others helps us find common ground and common ground supports our leadership. We learn more about others and the more we learn, the better we lead.
Choose to have a positive attitude and leave negativity at home (or in a drawer, if you’re at home). Many people can tell instantly if you have a negative attitude or if you feel superior. So treat other people as you would like to be treated. And give each person a chance. Daily, choose your attitude, and make that the best choice for you.
3. Open Exchange
Great leaders encourage people to share. However, there are some limitations on how people share. Some people are shy, scared or inexperienced in communicating and welcome an opportunity to share. Some are mistrusting. To invite and open exchange, start with body language and verbal communication. Face the other person with your arms open, eyes looking into theirs gently (not glaring or staring), and encourage a conversation with a warm smile. The open and honest exchange will open happen when we have built trust with others.
Be an active listener. Don’t focus your thoughts on what YOU will say next. Don’t listen to respond, listen to learn and understand. Listen to what the other person is saying and take your clues from there, while also noting the body language.
For example, if the other person folds his arms and sounds upset, you may need to change the subject or let them have some space and distance; maybe even try approaching them later on and excusing yourself to go make a phone call. On the other hand, if the other person is leaning towards you, following your every word and communicating with you as if you were old friends, Congratulations. You’ve built rapport!
5. People like Compliments
So hand them out freely without overdoing it. Leaving a nice part of yourself like a compliment is a good memory for the other person to recall – numerous times. That’s good rapport. But be sincere! Be genuine. False compliments aren’t easily disguised and most people can see through them. Whether it’s in your language or your body language, false compliments are easily seen through and builds a layer of mistrust between you and the other person.
Building rapport is important in every aspect of life. In leadership, in business, in every day communication and life. Connecting with people, building rapport advantages us in life. What can you do to help build rapport?
Photo by Juri Gianfrancesco on Unsplash